Mining sector must do more to aid small business

There is a general need for mining companies to upscale their assistance to small businesses through their business incubators, said panellists attending a Youth in Mining Summit on Tuesday.


The panellists raised concerns on small businesses struggling to get vendor numbers from mining companies.

Vendor numbers, which are issued by mining companies, are used to transact and do business with mining companies.

In their view this was one of the reasons why young people were frustrated with the process of doing business with larger mining companies.

“Why does Lonmin take a long time to issue a vendor number to a black company situated in Marikana but it does not take the same time to issue it to a company that is situated in the Free State which doesn’t even have 26% black ownership?,” asked Peter Molotsi.

Lonmin executive Mpho Mochekela acknowledged that the vendor processes needed to be accelerated.

“That’s an area that needs serious looking into, that process is not working at this stage. We are sitting with over 5 000 vendors on our database. And there are 800 active members, so to me it tells me that the 4 200 vendors are just lying dormant.

“We also need to move to a situation where we are providing activate opportunities. So that when we give you a vendor, we also know that there is a job opportunity we are giving you,” added Mochekela.

Another solution, he added was sharing the business ‘pie’ so that more people could benefit


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